Acclaimed as one of the most sophisticated novelists to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance, Nella Larsen
tries to explain the complex identities of mixed-race women growing up in 1920's Harlem in these landmark novels
put together by Serpents Tail.
Quicksand follows the life of a mixed-race woman torn between living a pampered life with her white relatives
in Denmark and trying to find a place for herself in Harlem. The character Helga Crane finds that she cannot
live comfortably with one race without yearning contact with the other.
Passing tells the story of two mixed-race women who meet up again after many years apart. They are clearly
drawn to each other, one having settled for a life in the black bourgeoisie and the other choosing to pass
Both novels deal with race, gender, class and sexuality. Readers will find an interesting contrast between
life in England and the segregated life that was America in the twenties and to a great extent still is today.